Dating has changed a lot since the last time I was single almost 7 years ago. To quote one of my favourite singers Erykah Badu, when it comes to dating, sometimes it feels like “I’m an analog girl living in a digital world.” There are a bazillion different apps devoted to dating and everyone seems to be meeting online. The latest news in the dating world is that soon you’ll be able to toast to your new relationship by administrating a HIV home test kit that you’ve ordered off of the internet. Crazy right? The world has changed, but so have I. I’m older, wiser and have a better idea of what I want because I’ve learned to trust my instincts and listen to my buddy voice.
The week after Christmas I sat in my best-friend’s living room, drinking wine as we poured over online dating profiles. I remember her telling me something along the lines of, “You’re striking out with these guys, maybe it’s time I helped you choose the next one.” You know the saying “sometimes your best-friends know you better than you know yourself”? I agreed to let her help because in the case of our friendship, I honestly believe that statement is true.
However, that night I was feeling a bit sarcastic and boozy, so when she asked me about a guy who had recently messaged me (“What about him?) I replied by saying:
“I’m sure he’s a total douche, let’s read through his profile and see! Oh wait…”
As I read through his profile I realized he actually sounded kind of awesome. He came across as well-spoken, intelligent, had a Master’s degree, liked wine, was really into fitness and competed in these extreme triathlon competitions that are popular in my very health-concious/outdoorsy city. He was also cute.
“I think you should message him” my best-friend suggested. So, I did. A few hours later we had a date set for the following week. However, as the date started to approach I was skeptical. As a Fitness Guy, would we even have anything in common? What if he had giant Jersey Shore style muscles and drank all of his meals out of a blender?! I decided I would go out with Fitness Guy to humour my friend.
However, when I arrived at the chic little wine bar that we’d chosen for our date, all of my preconceived notions about Fitness Guy went out the window. He was totally handsome, as soon as we sat down across from each other, our eyes locked and we connected. A few minutes into the conversation, he told me “You’re absolutely beautiful!” I smiled, thanked him and we proceeded to talk non-stop for the next few hours, getting to know each other over multiple glasses of wine. When it was time to head home that night, he walked me to my door and kissed me goodnight. It was one of those kisses that gives you butterflies – the kind that once the door closes you squeeeeee, you jump around, you dance in your bedroom in your underwear. I did all of the above.
For the next few weeks there were lots of other kisses. Deeper more passionate ones. In his car. By the waterfront, as he wrapped his arms around me protecting me from the cold January wind coming off of the Pacific. Pressed up against my front door as we tore at each other’s clothes. We had the kind of intoxicating chemistry that I hadn’t experienced in a really long time . All these feeeeeelings made me feel vulnerable and resulted in an acute case of sexually transmitted awkwardness.
Then things got weird. His life situation became more complicated. His text messages became less frequent and sometimes mine weren’t returned at all. I started to wonder what was going on. Although he expressed interest in dating and getting things back on track, I started to feel like I was always chasing after him to make plans, often wondering “do we have communication issues, or is he just not that into me?” – after all, I am usually the one being chased. I’m generally not a very patient person and have a hard time relinquishing control, so when all of this started to happen I decided that in an effort to try and grow as a person, I would be patient. I would wait it out, live with the uncertainty and allow the relationship to evolve organically. However at what point does “patient” just become “oblivious”?
People say that only men think with their pants, but they’re wrong. I was chasing the high of those kisses, those butterfly feelings, the rush of being pressed up against my front door as he pulled up my skirt, and how I felt when this charming man told me over a glass of Merlot that he thought I was beautiful. Fitness Guy became a proverbial carrot dangling in front of me that I wasn’t ready to give up on yet. Instead I chased and waited, chased and waited some more.
The past few weeks haven’t been the most awesome – health wise, family wise or work-wise – however, I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with Fitness Guy over the long weekend. But, when I received a text from him on Thursday about hanging out with him over the weekend and it said:
“I’m going running tomorrow morning. You can come if you want”
Frustrated, I burst into tears.
I’M EXHAUSTED FROM RUNNING AFTER YOU ALL THIS TIME, AND NOW YOU WANT ME TO PHYSICALLY RUN AFTER YOU?!
That’s what I should have said. I mean, after not having seen each other for a week, a 5k run wasn’t exactly the kind of cardio I had in mind for our date. However, instead I gave myself a pep talk: Stop being such a girl. His life is more complicated than yours. He’s trying to include you. You’re patient. You can take this leap of faith. You can run.
Friday morning I loaded up on water, protein bars and put on my brand new hot pink running shoes and took a cab to meet him by the water where the old graveyard meets the beach. He was running the full 10k trail and we were going to meet halfway. As I jogged to the meeting spot I told myself “This is a leap of faith but you’re patient, you’re strong, you can run.” However, in order to make a leap of faith work, the other person has to meet you halfway – both literally and figuratively. If they fail to do so, you might find yourself standing alone by a graveyard, freezing your ass off, feeling like a jack-ass.
When he didn’t show up after 25 minutes, I got a text from him that said:
“Finished the run. Came by. Didn’t see you. Kept running”
I’d spent since February silencing my buddy voice (“This isn’t good enough. You’re not getting what you want. This isn’t right”) but at that moment, as I stood on the side of road, looking out at the ocean covered in a thick layer of ominous fog, her voice came through loud and clear:
He didn’t wait. He kept running.
WHAT THE FUCK SIMONE.
You have to end this now.
(photo via Gala Darling)
So, a few hours later while sitting in the parking lot of a suburban H&M with my best-friend, that’s exactly what I did.
I’m strong, I’m patient, I can run, but I deserve to be with someone who wants to run beside me in life, someone who wouldn’t think twice about waiting for me, like I would for them. I don’t think Fitness Guy is a bad person, he just wasn’t that guy for me.
This all goes to show you that when asked on a 3rd date, “Which one do you prefer – Biggie or 2Pac?” you should never date a guy who says “Neither.”
“This sponsored po